tv South Dakota Gov. Noem Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN March 25, 2020 5:32am-5:55am EDT
coronavirus to reach peak in eight weeks. in her state. she spoke about testing and other responses the state was taking in response to the outbreak. governor noem: is everybody ready? i want to thank you all for coming in. i spoke with the mayors earlier today, i want to thank all of them who are stepping up and being calm, using reasonable processes and data, science, to make their decisions. they're really working hard on behalf of their communities throughout the state to handle the covid-19 virus as it spreads. and we are so thankful for their leadership at this time. our projections are that our
numbers of infections will continue to go up. please stay in contact and go to covid.sd.gov for all the information updated by noon each day. the good news i have to report today is we have two more people who have recovered, so our total is eight of our positive covid i.d.'d individuals now have fully recovered. i was on a phone call yesterday with the vice president of the united states going over a lot of the federal response to this pandemic across the country and one of the statistics we gave was that one week ago, 50,000 completed tests were processed. now more than 300,000 have been processed. that's good news that means that at the federal level and across the country that more of these tests are going through the system and that we fully expect to get rid of the backlog of those tests through the commercial and public labs in the next week. today i made sure we put forward an executive order on state employees. we will continue with state
employees in the state of south dakota working from home and teleworking through may 2. we also want to thank all of our school districts for the great work they have done so far, k-12 systems have responded to serve families and districts, they have been giving an delivering meals at homes to them, distance learning activities have been completed. they've done phenomenal work on behalf of our kids. today, i also have put forward recommendations to all of our school administrators and those at the local level that kids should stay out of the school buildings until may 1. this will give us time to make sure that we are fletening and bending the curve of the spread of the infection in the state of south dakota and also gives them some consistency at the district level on how they will teach these children at home or at a distance. school administrators have been communicating with us and school board members on how to do that and the flexibility they need to be able to do it individually district by district. i'd like to encourage them to
continue to assist their communities as we go through this situation. i've heard so many different innovative approaches they're using from delivering sack meals to hot meals, some districts doing more than 5,000 meals a day. we have child care that they are offering to health care workers, to law enforcement and emergency responders. i think that's fantastic that they're using the resources that they have to meet the community needs and then also putting online learning activities for their kids so that they can continue their education at home with their families and with their parents. many of them that don't have internet access today, these teachers are going above and beyond and delivering instructional packets to them at home, which is making a world of difference and will make sure our kids stay on track with their learning opportunities. with that, i will open it up to any questions you may have. reporter: i'd like to follow up on your last comment, i've heard from a number of teachers that many teachers are working harder
right now. have you heard of those stories and where is that to that information, anything specifically motivate your comments? governor noem: it does, it's been amazing the just from -- gist from people across the state of south dakota that are telling not only our teachers delivering instructional plans to student bus many of them are tailoring them to the individual child's needs. so many children at home are getting notes or getting information to kids that -- that is specific for them. which i think is really special thing that they're doing above and beyond just getting out assignments. so these teachers are committed to their students, i think we've always known they love these kids, care about their future, want to make sure they don't fall behind no matter what is going on in our state and in our country. reporter: governor, can you tell us about the positive cases? governor noem: we have two new positive cases that will be uploaded on the website by noon today.
reporter: i have a question for the department of health. can you hear me? >> yes we can hear you. reporter: my question is, can you give more details about the woman in prison, i mean you said she's isolated where is she being housed? how is she being treated? what's the level of her symptoms? she remains in isolation at the women's prison. we're following all medical guidelines with that patient as we would advise any other health care provider and she remains in isolation. any other inmates that would have symptoms we'll treat like we would treat anybody else. we'll do testing and make sure that they stay in isolation as well. reporter: by isolation, do you mean she's in solitary? >> i can't speak to the actual housing cell that she's in. i can tell you she's isolated from other inmates at this time.
reporter: how many other inmates and staffers are being isolated because they came in contact with her? >> we are currently working with in>> we are currently working all potential individuals that came in contact with this inmate, including staff as well as other inmates, we continue to assess if any of them show any him and symptoms, we will take prompt action to contain the issue. reporter: are they being isolated now? >> we're going to move on to other questions because there are several other people trying to ask questions. reporter: could you briefly discuss the surge in unemployment claims in the state and as well as you being a former member of congress, how much are you encouraged or discouraged by what's going on there now with the stimulus plan and how much do you think that could help? governor noem: i'm encouraged by the fact that washington, d.c. recognizes that there is some
response needed out here on the ground to respond to people's needs. very discouraged by watching the politics as usual that's going him on on capitol hill. so my focus obviously is here in south dakota, but i do know that in the state, we've had an amazing amount of people calling in asking for help with unemployment. we've had many lines in place for quite some time, but now we have 92 operating phone lines just taking phone calls in the state of south dakota of people asking questions, how do sign up for -- how to sign up for unemployment, how to enroll and go through the process. many of these people are unfamiliar with the system. they have not signed up for unemployment in the past. we are add 23 to 26 new lines. we've hired 16 new individuals just in this area to respond to the unemployment are request. -- unemployment request. i think this is virtually because we have had so much of our economy already get significantly impacted by the covid-19 virus. we have whole hotels that their
occupancy went from 100% to almost nothing. restaurants and bars that because people are not out and about anymore, they've let their employees go. just people that have gotten up every day for years and gone to work during this time don't have that option. and it's something they're very concerned about. they recognize they've got to keep a roof over their family's heads, got to buy grocery, pay their bills. we're here to help process as many of those claims and answer their questions as we possibly can. we're committed to keeping staff there and adding as many lines as possible to serve the people of the state. reporter: i wanted to go back to the inmate question. is there any concern that the eight escaped inmates could have had contact with this person?
>> we are currently looking at the situation involving the at the situation involving the eight individuals to see if they had close proximity to the positive case. and so we're currently working on that right now. obviously that's a very serious situation and we're all hands on deck to figure that out. reporter: do you confirm that the woman who got sick was in the same minimum unit as the women who escaped? sec. malsam-rysdon: yes, they were in the same unit. we don't know if they were in close proximity, we'll continue to investigate that and contact individuals. they were in the same unit. reporter: as the woman who got sick? >> yes. reporter: ok, thank you. reporter: is there concern about it being in the hallways or going through the air filtration system or anything like that in the prison? >> yes. we obviously are taking every precaution possible and investigating every single exposure that could exist. we have protocols in place for
following all the c.d.c.'s recommendations and the department of health guidelines in this situation and have taken every precautionary measure we can but those are all things we are investigating right now. reporter: can you confirm that there's a ninth prisoner who escaped? there's a woman booked into jail by escape by prisoner second-degree, the sheriff's office said. can you confirm that she's now in our jail? there was a ninth one who escaped? >> there was nine who escaped. we have gotten one. recuperated and brought her back into custody. and we are continuing the investigation. reporter: is she cooperating in the escape effort? >> the question is if she is cooperating. at this time, i don't have any new information to give you. but i will when we get it. reporter: governor noem, can you hear me? governor noem: i can. go ahead. reporter: governor, obviously
the numbers yesterday went from 28 to 30 today. two more positive cases. i know that you've talked long-term that we could be seeing cases peak in may but when you see in late march the number go up two in one day what is your reaction to that? governor noem: for me, it's to keep it in perspective. it tells me that what we're doing is working, that i appreciate everyone's cooperation in doing the social distancing and good hygiene, washing your hands is still the number one thing people can be doing. they're taking this seriously. so first of all, thank the people of south dakota for their personal responsibility and their actions each and every day to keep our community safe. the second thing is, also knowing that it will escalate and we don't become alarmed or not be prepared for when those numbers do increase. we know they will. we know we have several communities right now dealing with community spread and get them all the assets and the help
they need to respond to the individuals as they become -- need health care provisions going forward. all of this is keeping perspective and that our response is timely and we are taking care of the folks in our communities. reporter: does the department of health know if the ninth inmate who escaped, can you confirm she is having symptoms and is the the county jail she's in being kept safe? >> i can indicate that she has been tested. we do not have test results. we'll take every precaution as we would with any other patient who is potentially at risk. reporter: on the -- i'll do this one short. do you think beauty salons are essential business right now? governor noem: we have not defined essential and nonessential businesses.
what i have asked, what i have put out as a direction to the state of south dakota is that we need to be innovative in how we care for our customers. i have given the guidelines to the states that we should not have groups of 10 or more co-locating, that if businesses are going to operate, that they need to reform how they do business and keep interaction and hygiene recommendations from the c.d.c. in mind and comply with them. this is something that i discussed on my phone call with the mayors earlier was that it will be up to them partnering with us to hold people accountable on. this this is the direction i've given the states. this is an outline i've given local leaders, they'll go out and have conversations with businesses and require them to comply. reporter: governor, you said we have two new confirmed cases in south dakota. can you tell us where those cases are located? governor noem: one case is in
brookings county and another case is in bedle county. reporter: in regard to the school closures through may 1, are we anticipating the possibility of having school in may or are we just going along in regard to the safeguards and watching the virus numbers? governor noem: we are for sure not going to be having children gathering in buildings for school until may 1. we will obviously re-evaluate that going through the next several weeks. we obviously believe we'll still be dealing with the virus by that time, but we do not know necessarily if we'll have therapeutics available to us if there'll be more information at that time what the situation will be. i think all of us can honestly say that even a week ago, we were in a very different situation than we are today. with the virus we're still learning about and getting more information on, we're going to make sure that we're making good decisions by keeping our kids
out of the schools and doing distance learning until may 1 and then we'll re-evaluate and keep everybody updated. as to what the decision will be toward the end of the year. reporter: update on the legislative last day? governor noem: we are planning to conduct veto day on schedule we're also exploring ways to do that remotely or way we can use technology to do veto day without necessarily having all the legislators in the capitol building, so that's something the legislative board is looking with us on to problem solve. businessespening sooner rather than later, will you lift any of your guidelines to follow that? governor noem: i have not closed down businesses in the state of south dakota. i have told them how to operate and how they should protect their customers and continue to care for their employees and families going forward. remember that any changes we make for how we conduct our daily lives has to be sustained.
this situation is not going to be over in a week. the projections are and models and data and facts tell us that we have another eight weeks, potentially, until we see our peak infection rate, which means we expect more and more people to become infected with covid-19 over the next eight weeks and so whatever decisions we make that impact families, how we do our day-to-day business, how we run our operation, how we care for people, needs to be sustained long-term. so that is why i've asked our mayors, i've asked our leaders and local communities to go out, use the guidelines i gave you in my executive order, interact with your business community and make sure they are conducting business but in a safe manner and innovative way that allows them to make good decisions protecting the public health. reporter: can you declare -- governor noem: i'm going to this question first and then come back to you. reporter: do they think with the distance learning, will the kids
be able to achieve close to enough units? because when may rolls around, you know, you know the situation they've missed a lot of time. kids will still want to graduate at the end of the month like -- are they going to do weekend classes to make up stuff? are they looking that far forward yet? are they still trying to scramble to learn how to do youtube education? governor noem: there are benchmarks i'm sure we'll be discussing with our department of education and local administrators our students will be expected to meet. however, the federal standardized testing requirements will be waived. there will be no reporting requirements to the federal government on testing and what those scores would be at that level. but at the state, i'm sure that the school districts will still continue their assessments as best they can in this unique situation. reporter: there are a total of nine escapees from the women's
prison and at least one of them is infected? is that? >> no. there were nine escapees. one has been located. we do not know if that person is infected. reporter: ok. but she has been tested. reporter: governor, do we know how many people are hospitalized right now with coronavirus? governor noem: we have two people in the hospital who tested positive for the virus, that's the same as yesterday. reporter: with the school closures until may, is that a guideline or a baseline as released yesterday or is that a mandate as the last couple of weeks? governor noem: that's a direction i've given to the k-12 system. they coordinate with the state department of education and
local school boards to work together to make sure we have a union fid approach to make sure our kids get the education they deserve throughout this. reporter: governor, i have another question regarding the infection, can you tell us if that is travel related? governor noem: the case in brookings county is travel related. reporter: thank you. >> one more question. reporter: governor noem. gov. noem: yes. reporter: in minnesota, they are doing things like turning an old prison into a covid-19 care center. is south dakota doing anything like that? or what is south dakota doing to prepare for an influx in patients? governor noem: that's something our state department of health is going to right now, a needs assessment and surge assessment, with all our local providers, our hospital systems, and the resources we have in every community.
i'll let the secretary of health give you more details on that sec. malsam-rysdon: thank you, governor. as the governor indicated, we are assessing that surge capacity as well as looking at other resources within communities that can be of assistance if our demand exceeds the potential surge in those communities. we're looking at all options on the table and looking at current facilities as well. so we're looking to have more to report on that soon. governor noem: if you remember, my executive order i talked about elective surgery beings postponed. that will free up a percentage of beds that may be necessary for covid-19 impact. but we also have other resources in the state we could stand up in partnership with utilizing what the national guard can offer in facilities an tools and at we'll have that assessment done working with
those providers the week and we'll have a great plan as to how to move forward. all right. thanks so much. >> thank you. ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. this morning, national low income housing coalition president diane discusses how affecting thes poor and homeless. then, the national federation of independent business talks about the impact of coronavirus on small businesses. with u.s.resentative naval news on the role of u.s. naval hospital ships in the prone virus response. watch "washington journal," live
at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. houseay, the white coronavirus task force provides an update on the outbreak and the federal government's response. watch live at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. now, governor gavin newsom provides an update on the coronavirus response in california. he talked about efforts to obtain additional protective medical workers and the importance of social distancing among all age groups following the apparent death of a california teenager from covid-19. governor newsome: good evening everybody. i just had a remarkable meeting with the team from uss mercy. what weived here to refer to as the state operation center, where i am currently filming this